Final

Series (Game 3 of 5)

St. Louis leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 6th
Blues2Final
OT
Predators2
Game 2: Sunday, December 30th
Predators2Final
Blues7
Game 3: Tuesday, March 19th
Predators1Final
Blues5
Game 4: Saturday, March 30th
Blues4Final
Predators2
Game 5: Tuesday, April 9th
Predators2Final
Blues3

Predators 1

(25-33-0, 61 pts)

Blues 5

(34-23-3, 79 pts)

8:00 PM ET, March 19, 2002

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
NSH 1 0 01
STL 0 2 35

S. Mellanby (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Johnson (Blues - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .962

M. Eastwood (Blues - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Ferraro gets goal, assist in Blues debut

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Ray Ferraro gave himself as much of a lift as his new team.

Ferraro had a goal and an assist in the final two minutes of his first game with the St. Louis Blues, helping turn a tight contest into a 5-1 blowout over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

The goal was only his ninth of the season, after totaling 29 last season, and his first since Feb. 8.

"I got here today, so whatever was before I'm trying to erase that from my memory, along with all the stats that went with it," Ferraro said. "As much as I liked Atlanta and as much as the people were great to me, I really look at this as a fresh start."

Ferraro, acquired Monday from the Thrashers for a fourth-round draft pick, and coach Joel Quenneville were teammates on the Hartford Whalers in the early 1980s. Quenneville caught himself using Ferraro's old nickname, "Pee Wee," a couple of times on the bench.

"We were teammate-friends and we got along pretty well, but it's a different way of life here," Quenneville said. "I think he's ready to help the team and be one of the guys."

Scott Mellanby and Pavol Demitra scored in a 2:16 span of the second period as the Blues recovered from a sluggish start and an early deficit.

Keith Tkachuk had two assists for the Blues, who have won three of four after a seven-game winless slump endangered their playoff hopes. They have 79 points, sixth in the Western Conference, but three teams are within three points.

"We got the job done," Quenneville said. "But we've got to be better than that."

Brent Johnson made his eighth straight start for St. Louis and made 25 saves. The Blues gave Johnson a vote of confidence, electing not to shop for a veteran goalie before Tuesday's trade deadline.

"I was really never worried or anything like that," Johnson said. "Whatever they chose to do was going to happen."

Johnson also assisted on the clincher, a short-handed goal by Chris Pronger with 3:32 to go that made it 3-1. Pronger scored his first goal since Jan. 15, a 22-game drought.

"We took the crowd out of it for the first 30 minutes, and then brought them back to life," Pronger said.

Cory Stillman added an empty-net goal with 1:21 to play, with Ferraro assisting, and Ferraro scored at 19:14.

Mellanby scored his 12th goal during a power play only seconds after breaking his blade and getting a new stick from the bench. The goal at 14:49 of the second tied it at 1. Mellanby deflected a shot from the point by Chris Pronger to end an 0-for-13 drought with the man advantage for St. Louis.

Demitra got his 27th at 17:06, two shots later for the Blues. He tapped the puck past Tomas Vokoun off a backhand feed from rushing defenseman Bryce Salvador.

The Predators have lost five in a row, scoring only eight goals in that span, and are 0-6-0-1 in their last seven games. Vladimir Orszagh scored on a rebound of a point shot by Kimmo Timonen at 4:11 of the first period for the game's first goal.

"I know everybody will read the paper tomorrow and say `Oh jeez, 5-1 -- must have been a pretty easy game,"' coach Barry Trotz said. "For 56 minutes we matched St. Louis I thought pretty well in every aspect."

Game notes


The Blues ran numerous puck warnings on the scoreboard, a day after a 13-year-old girl died after being struck in the head by a puck in Columbus, Ohio. ... Ferraro is only the second player in Blues history to wear No. 13. The only other was Yuri Khmylev, who appeared in nine games from 1995-97. ... The Blues are 11-18-6-2 when giving up the game's first goal. ... Predators C Greg Johnson played in his 233rd consecutive game. He's one of five Nashville players who have appeared in all 69 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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